Now to understand what factors motivated LinkedIn with respect to knowledge capital to stay successful for so long, some of the common theories on competition and advantage like the one of Porter can be called into question. Michael Porter talks about product differentiation that serves as a strong advantage (Porter et al., 1996). Any product presented in the industry within a certain period can be substituted. Therefore, when the person, or industry, or the virtual community (being the point of discussion) presents the product in such a way that it is differentiated from the rest, the product would have a unique selling point.
The unique selling point of LinkedIn can be understood as being strongly differentiated from its competitors. As an example, in the case of blogs that were being used for professional sharing of discussions, the con was that they did not have a varied set of followers. Followers were mostly constrained to people that the blogger worked with. Sometimes it was a slightly expanded segment of people and yet it was constrained to an industry within a geographical location. Now compared to the blog tool, LinkedIn as a VC brings the advantage of a better network. More expansive set of followers are present in LinkedIn and herein lays the differentiation. Consider how LinkedIn is different from other competitors such as Facebook, It would not be right to compare them as they are both different in the target segment they service.
Both do create connections and both are being used for business marketing and other agendas. Therefore, a comparison could still be done. In the case of Facebook, professionals still connect in an open space. While compared to the LinkedIn, the social space of Facebook is more of an informal space for everybody (Boulos et al., 2006). It is empowered with tools, but unlike LinkedIn does not have a tool space or dashboard that is professional in nature. LinkedIn on the other hand studies the need of its consumers. It creates a space for professional working based on the workspaces used by its consumer segment in real life. The knowledge capital created in the VC is better exploited.